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Sustainable Corporations

This course considers the sustainability of the modern US corporation - that is, whether the corporation can meet current social needs while enabling future generations to meet their needs. We begin by studying the corporation's current design: cost externalization, short-term decision-making, corporate "groupthink," and corporate personhood. We then consider some responses to this design: environmental liability (planet), voluntary CSR (people), and socially responsible investing (profits). We conclude by looking at some paradigm shifts: new social enterprise forms, new environmental/social reporting, and the corporation as moral system. Students work in groups on a weekly basis, submit four reflection papers during the semester, and write a final paper on a corporate CSR report of their choice.